There's a scientific reason why your pooch is giving you those puppy dog eyes

Do you ever get the feeling, when your beloved dog looks lovingly into your eyes, that you're being manipulated into giving them an extra doggie treat or scratch behind the ears?

Well, it turns out that's no coincidence.

Scientists have discovered that specific muscles around dogs eyes have evolved to allow our furry friends to make certain expressions that humans find appealing.

The most recent research has been carried out by Professor Anne Burrows at Duquesne University.

We did a study that showed that dogs in dog shelters that made this expression, that 'puppy dog' eye, were adopted more quickly than dogs that didn't.

Prof Anne Burrows, Biological anthropologist - Duquesne University

So we thought let's go look and see what that facial anatomy is and see if it's different from wolves.

Prof Anne Burrows, Biological anthropologist - Duquesne University

Burrows says she found the muscle that enables the expression in ALL of the dogs she tested (except the huskie) but in none of the wolf specimens.

As people selected to breed those dogs who showed even the slightest puppy dog face that muscle must have grown in size and occurred much more regularly.

Prof Anne Burrows, Biological anthropologist - Duquesne University

It's not unlike looking at human infant faces. When a human infant makes that face you go and see what they need.

Prof Anne Burrows, Biological anthropologist - Duquesne University

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : There's a scientific reason why your pooch is giving you those puppy dog eyes


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